Odell Beckham Jr. traded to Browns

Odell Beckham Jr. is finally on the move. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports (via Twitter) that the Giants are trading the wide receiver to the Browns.

It sound like New York has received a relative haul for their star receiver. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the Giants will be receiving a 2019 first-rounder (No. 17 overall), a 2019 third-rounder (No. 95), and safety Jabrill Peppers. The deal will leave $16M in dead money for the Giants, who inked the receiver to a five-year, $95 million contract ($65M guaranteed) back in August. The move will open up $5M in cap space, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter).

This would seem to be a relatively big haul for Beckham, especially when you consider what the Steelers recently received for Antonio Brown. While Brown is older and desired a new contract, Pittsburgh was still only able to fetch a third-round pick (No. 66 overall) and fifth-round pick (No. 141) from the Raiders.

There had been conflicting reports regarding Beckham’s availability in recent days. Despite general manager Dave Gettleman‘s consistent insistence that Beckham was not available, we learned yesterday that the Giants had been discussing a trade. We heard earlier today that an AFC North team was engaged in conversations with the Giants, and we’ve now learned that the team was Cleveland.

The Browns seemed like a relatively natural fit for Beckham and his $18M salary. Despite signing Jarvis Landry to a lucrative deal last offseason, Cleveland’s front office was still hunting around for a big-name addition. The 26-year-old surely fits that bill, as he’ll team up with Landry, quarterback Baker Mayfield, and running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt to form one of the more talented offenses in the NFL.

The 26-year-old was still productive in 2018 despite missing four games due to a quad injury. In 12 games, Beckham hauled in 77 receptions for 1,052 yards and six touchdowns. The former first-rounder is all over the Giants all-time leaders list, with top-five appearances in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdown receptions.

While the focus of the trade will surround Beckham, Peppers is an intriguing inclusion in the deal. The former Michigan standout had spent the first two seasons of his career in Cleveland, including a 2018 campaign where he compiled 79 tackles, one sack, and five passes defended. While the 23-year-old hasn’t necessarily displayed the talent that earned him a first-round selection, he’s still an intriguing asset for the Giants. While the team recently added Antoine Bethea, Peppers could theoretically supplant Michael Thomas in the starting lineup.

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By: Ben Levine

32 things we learned heading into divisional round of 2018 NFL playoffs

The 32 things we learned heading into the 2018 NFL playoff divisional round:

1. If it seemed the wild-card round was chock full of fresh faces and teams, well, it was. None of the eight clubs competing in the opening round was in action for last season’s wild-card games, and only the Eagles (a No. 1 seed with a bye in 2017) even reached the playoff field a year ago.

1a. But you’ll see largely familiar characters in the divisional round with Philadelphia returning along with the four teams on bye — the Chiefs, Patriots, Rams and Saints, all postseason entries last year, too.

1b. The last team to advance to the Super Bowl after playing on wild-card weekend was the 2012 Ravens, who won Super Bowl XLVII. The next 10 conference champs have all had first-round byes.

2. Gen X-er Philip Rivers, 37, has to be the sentimental favorite to win it all, right? No quarterback in league history has thrown for more yards (54,656) or more touchdowns (374) yet never played on Super Sunday.

2a. And how great (and entertaining) would it be to see Rivers’ Chargers take on the Saints … and former Bolts QB Drew Brees, who kept Philly Riv on the bench for two years?

3. But if you’re into unminted Millennial passers, Patrick Mahomes (23), Jared Goff (24), Dak Prescott (25) and, most certainly, Andrew Luck (29) could ride great story lines all the way to Atlanta, site of Super Bowl LIII.

4. Three quarterbacks made their playoff debuts during wild-card weekend. Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson and Mitchell Trubisky all lost.

5. Welp, Matt Nagy, guess you shoulda laid down for the Vikings in Week 17 rather than invite a matchup with the Iggles and your old buddy Doug Pederson.

6. Did anyone else want Eagles-Bears go into overtime (maybe double OT) just to see how NBC would handle its Golden Globes coverage, which began minutes after Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth wrapped?

7. Rough night for Chicago’s Cody Parkey, whose would-be, game-winning field goal attempt from 43 yards hit the upright then the crossbar before caroming into the end zone. No good. Parkey drilled the Soldier Field uprights four times Nov. 1. Uncanny.

8. But if I’ve learned anything this season, it’s that Parkey is about to get a flood of support from kickers throughout the league as he copes with this unfortunate bounce. Bounces.

9. Nick Foles was picked off twice in Sunday’s win over the Bears. The last time he threw multiple INTs in an Eagles uniform, Oct. 26, 2014, Chip Kelly was their coach and Foles had yet to play for the Rams or Chiefs.

9a. The last time Philadelphia played the Saints in postseason, the 2013 wild-card round, Foles was also the quarterback (in a losing effort) — Kelly’s only NFL playoff appearance.

10. Congrats to Eagles WR Golden Tate, who scored the game-winning TD at Chicago, instantly justifying the scrutinized trade deadline deal for him — which cost Philly a third-round pick that appeared awfully expensive given the struggles to integrate Tate into the offense.

10a. Congrats to Eagles LT Jason Peters, RB/KR Darren Sproles and LB Jordan Hicks, who all missed the 2017 Super Bowl run with injuries but tasted a playoff victory Sunday.

10b. Feel for you, Wentz.

11. Was wild-card weekend’s MVP Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley? His unit was on the short end of a 22-10 loss to Baltimore two weeks ago. Sunday, it showed the rest of the league how to contain Jackson — essentially deploying a defense comprised of linemen and defensive backs to shadow, flummox and confuse the rookie.

12. Jackson, who turns 22 on Monday, became the youngest quarterback to start a playoff game in NFL history. He looked like it. Make no mistake, the Ravens don’t win the AFC North without Jackson’s heroics in the second half of the season, when he went 6-1 as the starter. But Bradley and the Bolts provided a blueprint to stopping him and a fresh reminder that, though Jackson remains an elite athlete and highly effective with the ball in open space, he’s got a long, long way to go to be a fully-formed pro quarterback. He was sacked seven times, picked off once and fumbled thrice, losing the ball on his team’s final possession.

13. Who figured on Chargers rookie K Mike Badgley outperforming Ravens all-pro Justin Tucker? Badgley set a Bolts’ postseason record with five made field goals, while Tucker was 1-for-2 on three-point tries. Tucker missed five FGs this season, three against L.A.

14. Who figured on Chargers FB Derek Watt making a longer playoff run this season than brothers J.J. and T.J.?

15. The Chargers haven’t beaten Tom Brady since 2005. Rivers is 0-7 head-to-head against TB12, including two losses in postseason.

15a. But Sunday, the Chargers became the only team in the league to win eight times on the road this season. A visit to Foxborough, daunting as it is, won’t phase them.

16. The last time Rivers appeared in a playoff game at Gillette Stadium, the 2007 AFC Championship Game, he played on a torn ACL.

17. Baltimore’s second-ranked run game, which had averaged nearly 230 yards in Jackson’s seven regular-season starts, was limited to 90.

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By: Nate Davis

 

NFL Black Monday 2019: What Coaches Are Being Fired?

Why is the Monday directly following the last game of the NFL season each year so important in the NFL?

It is typically the day that most NFL teams fire their head coach, and/or coordinators,  and/or general managers after a season of unfulfilled expectations.

Some teams don’t even wait till this “official day” any more like the Cleveland Browns (who are always firing coaches) and the Green Bay Packers, who made a rare change.

The mid-season causalities were former Cleveland Browns coach Hue Jackson and former Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy.

Now, we’re awaiting the reports of the next wave of firings. So, follow along as the announcements come after the NFL Week 17 games.

MIAMI DOLPHINS (FIRED)

he Miami Dolphins made the playoffs in the 2016 with a 10-6 record, which was head coach Adam Gase’s first season with the team. But since then, Gase has gone 6-10 in 2017 and 7-9 in 2018. His job reportedly was on the line coming into this season and with another losing season completed…it was just a matter of time before he was let go, according to multiple NFL sources. The guessing game with Gase’s status is over and he’s been fired, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. In addition to the Gase firing, Schefter reported that the Dolphins made some front office changes concerning former Executive Vice-President Mike Tannenbaum.

CINCINNATI BENGALS (FIRED)

The Cincinnati Bengals were guided by Marvin Lewis for 16 seasons and in that time he compiled a 131-122-3 record. But the glaring “black eye” on his resume was an 0-7 record in the playoffs and that’s what finally cost Lewis his job. Lewis was officially fired by the Bengals, according to the NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Many people thought the team was going to fire Lewis last season but owner Mike Brown brought him back for one more year and the Bengals went 6-10, which was the team’s third straight losing season.

DENVER BRONCOS (FIRED)

As of Sunday night, there was no official word on the status of the Denver Broncos head coaching job, but John Elway, the Denver Broncos president of football operations/general manager, flirted with the idea of canning head coach Vance Joseph last season in what would have been a “one-and-done” situation in the mile high city. But it appears that Joseph will not survive this year’s NFL Black Monday situation. Fox NFL Insider Jay Glazer said on Fox NFL Sunday that he believes Vance Joseph will be one of the coaches fired for the NFL’s Black Monday. Joseph didn’t have to wait long on Monday morning to find out his fate as Elway fired him, according to the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Joseph didn’t have a great quarterback in his two seasons in the mile high city as he went 5-11 last season and 6-10 this season. He left the Miami Dolphins defensive coordinator position to take the Broncos head coaching job and according to NFL sources, he might land as a team’s defensive coordinator for the 2019 season.

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Winners and losers from NFL Week 12

Some pretty big stuff went down in NFL Week 12 as contenders scrapped for a foothold in the playoff chase heading into the season’s final quarter.

One game that featured teams on the other end of the spectrum gave us one of the most poetic moments of the season.

With only two teams on a bye this week, there was plenty of stuff to digest. These were the biggest winners and losers from the action.

Winner: Browns get revenge 

Cleveland did some incredible stuff in the first half on the road against Cincinnati. The Browns put up 28 points in the first half — essentially putting the game away before halftime. It was the first time since 1991 that they’d scored that many points in a first half.

It was also the first road win in 26 tries — saving the Browns from the embarrassment of setting another dubious NFL record.

Along the way, Baker Mayfield and Nick Chubb continued to show they’re going to be centerpieces in Cleveland for a long time. Mayfield threw multiple touchdowns for the fifth game in a row (he finished with four and no interceptions), and Chubb racked up 128 yards with two touchdowns.

Oh, and they did it all against their former head coach.

Loser: Who’s trash now, Ramsey?

Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey made headlines before the season for an interview he did in which he blasted many of the league’s quarterbacks. Among them, he singled Buffalo’s Josh Allen out, calling him “trash.” He would also take to social media to troll Allen, which made his disdain for the rookie all the more clear.

Well, Allen and the Bills took it to Ramsey and the Jaguars on Sunday, winning 24-21 in Buffalo, and honestly the game wasn’t really as close as that. Allen outplayed Blake Bortles — throwing a gorgeous 75-yard touchdown pass and scoring twice, helping his team hand Jacksonville its seventh loss in a row.

Right now, it’s clear that the Jags are trash. Being dismantled by Allen and the Bills at this point in the season accentuated that fact.

Winner: Lamar and Gus do it again

For the second weekend in a row, Lamar Jackson and Gus Edwards led a winning offensive attack as the Baltimore Ravens easily cruised past the Oakland Raiders.

Jackson accounted for 249 yards and two touchdowns, and Edwards was brilliant on the ground going for 118 yards on 23 carries — a lot of that coming in the second half as the Ravens protected the lead.

Earlier on Sunday before the games began, a report emerged that Jackson had a “strong shot” to retain the job even if Joe Flacco is healthy. Based on the way things have gone the past two weeks — Baltimore snapped a three-game losing streak last weekend and is now very much in the playoff hunt — benching the rookie would be a tough sell.

Loser: Oh, No, Gano!

There are a few things that stand out as big mistakes by Carolina on Sunday in their three-point loss to Seattle. The decision to go for it on fourth down at Seattle’s five-yard line on their first offensive possession backfired, for one. Cam Newton’s interception in the end zone on the first drive of the second half was brutal, too.

At the least, those mistakes cost Carolina potentially six points.

But despite them, the Panthers had a real chance to win at the end of the game. Newton and the offense moved into field-goal range with under two minutes remaining. Then, just like last weekend, Graham Gano — usually extremely reliable — missed the potential game-winner.

Seattle drove down the field and converted the actual game-winner with time expiring instead. Now at 6-5, having lost three straight games, a playoff spot is in no way guaranteed for these Panthers.

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By: Jesse Reed

Top matchup for each Week 6 NFL game

During this week’s slate of NFL games, a ton of individual matchups will take center stage as 30 of the league’s 32 teams take to the field.

Can Denzel Ward continue his great rookie season in route to leading the Browns to a winning record against Keenan Allen and the equally hot Los Angeles Chargers? Patrick Peterson will look to continue his excellent play in hopes of stopping a Vikings receiver in Adam Thielen who is on pace to break the single-season catch mark. And in Kansas City, the Patriots must contend with the league’s best offense, Tyreek Hill included.

These are among the top individual matchups for each Week 6 NFL game.

Winners, losers from Thursday Night Football

We hope the rest of the Week 3 NFL preseason slate doesn’t come close to what we saw Thursday night between the Cleveland Browns and Philadelphia Eagles.

For the defending champion Eagles, it was about as bad as one can imagine. Reigning Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles turned the ball over four times.

He was consistently threatened in the backfield by Myles Garrett, and couldn’t click with Philadelphia’s second-team offense.

On the other side of the ball, Browns quarterback Tyrod Taylor exited in the game with a hand injury in the first quarter. Seemingly done for the remainder of the preseason, Browns head coach Hue Jackson made the most Hue Jackson of calls by bringing Taylor back into a meaningless game.

These are among the winners and losers from Cleveland’s ugly 5-0 preseason win over Philadelphia Thursday evening.

Winner: Myles Garrett, defensive end, Cleveland Browns

a close up of a person wearing a helmet © Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Eagles left tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai had absolutely no answer for this second-year stud Thursday evening. Throughout the first half, it was apparent that Garrett could get to Nick Foles on a consistent basis.

Philadelphia even sent double teams in Garrett’s direction without much success.

It’s this type of domination that the Browns expected from the Texas A&M product when they made him the No. 1 overall pick back in 2017. It’s a game-changing ability, one that will help this defense improve leaps and bounds once the regular season starts.

Coming back from a minor injury, the reigning Super Bowl MVP struggled in his second consecutive preseason outing. This week against Cleveland, it was about both a lack of accuracy and an inability to get rid of the ball on time. Out of the gate, he threw the ball late on an out route. It was a pass that Browns cornerback Terrance Mitchell almost turned into a pick-six.

Then, later in the first half, this Foles pass was picked off by defensive back Briean Boddy-Calhoun.

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Browns Trade DeShone Kizer to Packers

Written by Cody Benjamin at CBS Sports.com

Acquiring Tyrod Taylor and Jarvis Landry in one day was not enough for the Cleveland Browns.

(Read that again, and try to do so without squinting.)

Minutes after they reportedly agreed to trades for two of the AFC East’s most prominent players, the NFL’s worst team-turned-offseason sensation got busy with another transaction, this one a deal for former Green Bay Packers first-round draft pick Damarious Randall. And in the deal, they’ll be shipping 2017 second-round pick DeShone Kizer to Green Bay. The teams will also be flipping Day 3 picks:

As ESPN’s Adam Schefter said on Twitter Friday, a full five days before trades can become official and 2018 free agency begins, the Packers have informed Randall, who intercepted a career-high four passes in 2017, that he’s been traded to Cleveland.

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Browns Trade for Jarvis Landry and Tyrod Taylor

Written by Bill Barnwell at ESPN.com

The stockpiling-draft-picks era of the Cleveland Browns has come to a close. With Sashi Brown fired and replaced by traditionalist general manager John Dorsey, it’s no surprise that the Browns put some of their record-setting draft capital to work by trading for a trio of veterans on Friday afternoon. In three separate deals, the Browns sent out midround selections in the 2018 and 2019 drafts along with former starting quarterback DeShone Kizer for three veterans who should help the team win in the short term. It’s not difficult to understand why the Browns made these trades, but it’s a sign that they’re stuck paying what amounts to a competitiveness tax.

In the case of their trades for Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor and Dolphins wideout Jarvis Landry, the Browns sent out draft picks to acquire a veteran they likely would not have been able to woo in free agency unless their markets totally failed to materialize. Buffalo and Miami had little leverage in making these deals, given that the Bills had no realistic intentions of paying Taylor the $6 million roster bonus he was due on March 16. Buffalo might have publicly suggested it was willing to pay Taylor to keep its options open, but outside of Nick Foles with the Rams in 2016, there’s virtually no track record of a team paying this sort of optional roster bonus for a player it didn’t plan to keep in a meaningful role.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins might not have been able to afford the $16 million franchise tag Landry signed earlier this week. Landry reportedly had interest from the Ravens, but given that Baltimore would have needed to totally restructure his deal, it’s unlikely the Dolphins would have been able to make a similar swap to the one they made here. And if there weren’t any other trade suitors for Landry, he probably wouldn’t have signed the franchise tag. The most likely outcome for both Landry and Taylor this offseason was that they were both going to hit free agency. Instead, they’re both Browns.

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Browns Fans To Have Parade For 0-16 Season

Written by John Breech at CBS Sports.com

There are 32 teams in the NFL and only two of them will be getting a parade this year: The team that wins the Super Bowl and the Cleveland Browns.

Browns fans didn’t get to celebrate a single victory in 2017 and because they are clearly desperate to celebrate something, ANYTHING, thousands of fans will be taking part in a “Perfect Season” parade this week to celebrate the team’s 0-16 record.

Someone wins the Super Bowl every year, but it’s not every season where a team finishes 0-16, so this parade kind of makes sense if you think about it. The Browns are just the second team in NFL history to go winless through a 16-game season.

If you’re going to be in the Cleveland area this weekend, you might as well just go ahead and plan to attend. The parade is on Saturday and will start at noon with a route that goes around FirstEnergy Stadium.

According to Chris McNeil, the man who came up with the idea for the parade, there’s actually a perfectly logical explanation for why the route will be going around the Browns’ stadium.

“It’s going to go around the stadium [to form] a big loop, a big zero for the number of wins we had this year,” McNeil said, via NBC 4 in Cleveland.

Fittingly, the temperature on Saturday is expected to be around zero degrees, which means Mother Nature is definitely doing her part to celebrate the Browns’ zero-win season.

Throwing a parade isn’t cheap, which means McNeil had to raise some serious money before he was able to finalize the plans for the parade. To make sure that there would be enough money to hold the parade, McNeil made a goal of raising $10,000 so he could pay for things like “security, restrooms and medical folks.”

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John Dorsey Attacks Previous Browns Regime

Written by Kevin Patra at NFL.com

John Dorsey has been on the job in Cleveland less than a week, but the Browns new GM already made sweeping conclusions about the performance of Sashi Brown and the previous regime.

“You know what? You’ve got to get (Hue Jackson) players,” Dorsey told 850 WKNR-AM on Thursday, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “And you know what? I’ll come straight out with it. The guys who were here before, that system, they didn’t get real players.”

Dorsey made it clear he believes the Browns lacked a strong personnel man to collect Hue Jackson winning players and the new GM backed the coach with a 1-28 record.

“As Bill Parcells would always say, ‘you are your record’ and you know what? There it is, so that’s the truth-teller in this thing,” Dorsey said. “And I’m going to do my darnedest to get Hue (Jackson) players.

“And that’s all I can ask for, and that’s all I’m going to do. I like the man.”

In Dorsey’s view Sashi Brown might not have collected enough talent to win in the short term, but the former GM left Cleveland with a treasure trove of draft capital, including five picks in the first two rounds of the 2018 NFL Draft. It’s Dorsey’s job to turn those picks into winning players.

“Let’s be real we’re 0-13, okay?” he said. “So let’s get this thing rolling. The only way to do that is to start to build this thing.”

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